If you're in the market to buy a new SUV, you would definitely like to buy one of the popular models. People usually think that imports dominate most of the spots in any automotive market, but there's an interesting anomaly in the SUV segment. Three of the top five models are domestics that are vastly improved over their earlier counterparts. Ford's Escape wins as the cheapest SUV in a market where new SUV prices can run as high as $38,000 or more. Here's a look at the top 5 selling SUVs:
- Honda CRV: The CRV is available in three trim levels: the LX (cloth upholstery), the EX (equipment of base LX, CD player with MP3 and air conditioning) which adds alloy wheels, a moonroof, and 6-CD player, and the EX-L that adds leather, climate control, power front driver's seat, electronic stability control and navigation. The powerplant is Honda's standard VTEC 180-horsepower four cylinder that's mated to a manual transmission in the LX and 5-speed automatic on the EX models. The manufacturer's suggested retail runs from $21,545 to $27,745.
- Toyota RAV 4: Available in three trim levels (base, sport and limited), the Toyota RAV4 has had a long history, having been introduced in 1997. The RAV4 seats five, although an optional third bench that stores under the cargo floor increases seating to seven. The standard powerplant is Toyota's proven 179-horsepower 2.5-liter four cylinder, although a 296-horsepower 3.5 liter V-6 is available with a 5-speed automatic. The standard automatic is a four-speed. The RAV4 features Downhill Assist Control and Hill-Start Assist. The manufacturer's suggested retail runs from $21,675 to $27,985 and mileage is 28 highway and 22 city.
- Ford Escape: This was an early mini-SUV that is equally at home in the city as on the highway. It is shaped like a more traditional boxy, square SUV. There are three trim levels, XLS, XLT and Limited. Available with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive, the standard power plant is the 171-horsepower 4, mated to a five-speed manual. On the XLT and Limited, the powerplant is the same engine but with a six-speed automatic. The Edge is rated at 28 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city. The manufacturer's suggested retail runs from $21,020 to $21,375.
- Ford Edge: Introduced as a 2008 model, the Edge is a rounded crossover that is available with two-wheel or four-wheel-drive. It is a top-of-the-line model series that carries a $27,200 to $38,070 pricetag. The Edge is available in three trim levels, namely the XLT, Limited and Sport, all powered by Ford's 285-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 that gives you 25 mpg on the highway and18 in the city. The Edge looks remarkably like the Mazda CX-9, as it should since Mazda is owned by Ford and did the spadework in getting this vehicle ready. The Edge features remarkable handling ability as you'd expect with a vehicle with Enhanced Stability Control and roll stability control.
- Chevy Equinox: The change that this vehicle has undergone in five years is amazing. Today it has the standard dual blacked-out grille rounded front end, as well as alloy wheels. There are four trim levels, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ, and the Equinox whose standard powerplant is a 2.4-liter four with a six-speed automatic. A 3-liter V-6 is available on the LTZ. All models feature 4-wheel-disc brakes and ABS with six airbags. The Equinox will do 32 mpg on the highway and 21 in the city. The manufacturer's suggested retail is $22,615 to $29,970.